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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking and Research Fellowship

Inspired by the need to tackle and curb the rapid spread of mis- and dis-information and further expand the art and reach of verified and accurate information to rural and urban societies, to institutionalize a culture of fact-checking across the globe, and to build knowledge around the menace of information disorder in Africa, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), through its fact-checking project, DUBAWA, is now accepting applications for her Kwame Karikari fact-checking and research fellowship. 

Named after Professor Kwame Karikari, redoubtable media freedom advocate and founder of the Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA, both the Fact-Checking and Research Fellowships are designed to promote accountability of public institutions, institutionalize the art and culture of fact-checking in newsrooms, and build knowledge around the phenomenon in the Anglophone axis of the West African sub-region. This edition of the fellowship is the third in its series. 

The twin-track programme offers a six-months fellowship for journalists (fact-checkers) to incorporate fact-checking into their work; and another six-month fellowship for scholars (researchers) to conduct original research for publication in contribution to building knowledge around information disorder. 

The fellowships are supported by  the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation (HBS), and they both offer a monthly stipend to cover all costs of the investigation and research project for fellows.

Fact-checking Track

The fact-checking track is open to journalists and reporters in traditional and new media. Experience in fact-checking is not required of prospective applicants for the fact-checking track. However, prospective  applicants must:

  • Be journalists in new media platforms (online blogs), print media, radio, and TV stations in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
  • Be interested in pursuing fact-checking of stories pertaining to politics, economy, health, governance, business, media etc.
  • Be willing to think about ways to expand the reach of verified information to grassroots communities that are targeted constituencies for political, social, and cultural disinformation. 
  • Have proficient computer skills.
  • Be working in a media organization willing to cross publish with Dubawa.

Selected applicants will be expected to:

  • Write (online and print media) or broadcast (radio and TV) three (3) fact-check stories related to politics, health, economy, media etc. And one (1) media literacy article/ explainer on a monthly basis. 
  • Promote fact-checking on all social media, print, online, radio, or TV platforms as necessary.
  • Train colleagues in their newsrooms on the theory and practice of fact-checking.
  • Assist their newsroom to set up fact-checking desks upon completion of the programme.
  • Cross-publish fact-check reports on their platform and Dubawa.

Journalists and reporters from local language speaking media organisations are encouraged to apply to join this year’s fellowship.

If selected, the applicant(s) must provide proof of approval from the newsroom that authorizes the applicant to undertake fact-checking work and provide an assurance that fact-checks will be widely circulated on their media platform, newspapers, as well as on Dubawa’s websites as well.

Scholars (Research) Track

The Research Fellowship Programme is initiated through Dubawa’s, Information Disorder Analysis Centre (IDAC), a Project which creates knowledge on the information disorder ecosystem through extensive research, following an identification of gaps in knowledge that should drive policy and democratic discourse around technological consequences, social media, and political legislation. This track is open to postdoctoral and graduate/research fellows. 

Prospective applicants for this track must choose from one of the following areas during the fellowship:

  • Policy on Press Freedom
  • Politics and its influences on the information disorder ecosystem
  • Policy on social media, data, and new-age technology. 
  • Social media, legacy media, and audience communication behaviours
  • Nature, perception, and impact of information disorder

Who can apply for this fellowship? 

Prospective applicants must: 

  • Be graduates, postgraduate students, post-doctoral candidates, or persons who work in academia in Ghana,  Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia
  • Have at least intermediate level of IT skills 
  • Have good analytical skills 
  • Possess wide and demonstrable prior-experience in conducting research (on any subject).
  • Have genuine interest in learning and contributing to the development of knowledge around the IDAC project.
  • Be willing to give sufficient time or attention to the fellowship.
  • Be willing to meet up with the required deliverables. 

Applicants who are post-doctoral researchers must commit to:

  • Carry out six months of research into any of the identified focus areas. 
  • Be part of Dubawa’s workflow, attending editorial team meetings.
  • Give a public lecture on any of the focus areas relevant to their research while in residence at IDAC.
  • To publicize and share results of findings with the general public.

Applicants who are undergraduates and postgraduates researchers must commit to:

  • To carry out research into any of the identified areas 
  • Host a monthly or bi-monthly webinar on the findings of their research and give a lecture under the auspices of IDAC’s Occasional Webinar Series.
  • Make radio appearances at various stages of both fellowships to bring to the fore the issues raised or identified by the research efforts. 
  • Provide monthly analytical articles showing the interim findings of the research being conducted in the first five months and the final product at the end of the sixth month.

Note: All applicants will go through two stages of selection: filling an application form and attending a virtual interview.

Fellowship Timelines

Application Starts: 23 April – 7 May 2021 

Selection and interviews: 10 – 14 May 2021

Training (Fact-checkers): Tuesday 18 – Friday 21 May

Discussion Forum (Researchers): 25 – 26 May 2021

Fellowship Program Begins/Ends: May – November 2021

How to Apply

Applicants who are certain they meet the above criteria should click the appropriate link below to apply:

For Fact-checking, CLICK HERE

For Research, CLICK HERE

For more information about the Fellowship, contact us at  Follow us on social media;

Instagram: Dubawa_official

Facebook: Dubawa

Twitter: DubawaNG, DubawaGH, DubawaSL

Linkedin: Dubawa

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